Sox starter Buchholz injured in game

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Red Sox were still digesting the news of Dustin Pedroia's broken bone in his left foot Saturday when pitcher Clay Buchholz pulled up lame in the second inning while running to second base moments after singling for his first big-league hit.

"I think we all panicked right away," manager Terry Francona said. "He got in the dugout and was struggling.''

The fear, of course, was that just hours after losing Pedroia, the 2008 MVP, for perhaps as much as six weeks or more, they were about to lose Buchholz, who with 10 wins leads the staff, for an extended period, too.

The early indications, though, are that the injury is not serious. Buchholz hyperextended his left knee, according to both the manager and player, and while he will be re-evaluated again Sunday, the Sox were hopeful that Buchholz may make his next start.

"I hope so, that's what we're shooting for," Buchholz said Saturday after Boston's 4-2 win over the Giants, while acknowledging that his hamstring might also have been tweaked on the play and will require further evaluation.

"I love hitting and running the bases, but not doing it in five years, it's an art," he said.

Buchholz said he was undecided on whether to slide or peel off when Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval fielded Marco Scutaro's ground ball and flipped it to second for the start of a possible double play.

"Going into second, you can think all you want, 'Just jog down there,' but it's hard to make yourself do something 50 percent whenever you have a chance to break up a double play and keep the inning going.

"It was indecisiveness on my part going into second base. I was either going to slide or bail off. I landed weird and felt a little pop behind my knee.''

Buchholz pulled up, then limped onto the outfield grass before trainer Mike Reinold reached him and accompanied him to the dugout. Reinold quickly determined that Buchholz would be unable to continue, and manager Terry Francona sent out Scott Atchison to start the bottom of the second inning.

Atchison was the first of seven Sox relievers who combined to hold the Giants to five hits and two runs. Atchison was credited with his first win with Boston, while Jonathan Papelbon recorded the final three outs for his 17th save.

"He got back in the clubhouse and had good range of motion, good strength,'' Francona said. "It didn't look good. It kind of scared all of us. Long-term he's going to be OK."

Gordon Edes is ESPNBoston.com's Red Sox reporter. He has covered the Red Sox for 12 years and has reported on baseball for 25 years. Ask a question for his next mailbag here. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.